Let me start by saying that this game will set you back a mere £9.99. For a game that is the most innovative in its genre, that represents outstanding value. And I haven’t even started to tell you what it’s like to play yet.
First of all, I should declare I bought the previous version and whilst I liked it, there were a few too many flaws for me to really enjoy it. This one, however, seems to have ironed out those flaws (no longer do you get RSI from clicking the continue button, and no longer is Saqibul Hasan a world-leading fast bowling all-rounder) and added a huge amount more to what was already a pretty good game.
Little needs explaining, the interface is easy to understand and everything is very well set out, which makes that vital first impression a good one. I was happy to be able to dive straight into a game without having to read pages and pages of complicated instructions.
It is when you get into a match that you realise how much things really have been improved. There is a brilliant in-game autoplay feature, so you can decide how quick you want things to move along and up pops a summary of the innings. You can choose the highlights you want to see (again, these have been revamped) and any ball can be replayed.
What also impressed me is the autoplay mode, so if you just want to pick your team and let them get on with it, in this game, it’s pretty realistic. Other similar games on the market would refuse to bowl the bowlers you want and seemed to be pretty random. This one isn’t, and that is a huge plus. Pick five bowlers, and it will bowl five bowlers. Sounds simple, but it has so far proved elusive. Rockingham have cracked this nut, and for me it’s a sealer.
When I wrote this review, I'd only played the game on trial mode so far, with a couple of hours worth of play but from the brief experience I had, I would have to say this is the best cricket management/captaincy game I’ve played. Now I have my full copy, it just gets better (and not just because my Somerset side is sweeping all before me!) The biggest compliment I could pay this game is that my laptop is old and slow, but despite the game not running at optimum speed, it didn’t deter me at all.
If you’re looking for a complete simulation with up-to-date statistics, a realistic match engine and brilliant all-round playability, then Cricket Coach 2007 will be the best ten pounds you’ll ever spend.
Interface: Clean, well laid-out, easy to understand - 10/10
Graphics: Very nice, not a game you get sick of looking at and again, well presented - 9/10
Playability: Finally, a cricket management game that you want to play ball-by-ball and won't get bored of - 9/10
For more information about the game, click here.